New Orleans enjoys a reputation as somewhere you might not want to take your kids. With the infamous Bourbon street, Mardi Gras celebrations, and traditionally adult historical attractions, New Orleans is a city attracting millions of “of age people” to its river banks every year. But New Orleans is a big place, and that means it has something for everyone– even kids. So next time you’re thinking about leaving the kids behind, think twice with these affordable and fun family activities for all ages.
1. Visit Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and Storyland
Kids love amusement parks, and if we’re being honest, adults do too. Technically located in the City Park of New Orleans, this series of attractions is sure to please any youngster. For just $4, kids can explore Captain Hook’s pirate ship, play in the mouth of a whale, or tour any of the 25 different storybook exhibits in Storyland. In the amusement park itself, the rides are only $3 each, but you can ride an unlimited amount for just $17.
2. Float the Mississippi River on the Steamboat Natchez
If you’re hoping to see some of the historic Mississippi River during your trip to New Orleans, look no farther than Steamboat Natchez. This cruise is family friendly and features famous New Orleans style jazz, and homemade food among other things. You can even tour the engine room and hear the captain give orders to his crew. A kid pleaser for sure. If you’re looking to save, snag a coupon for a few dollars off your ticket.
3. Visit the Audubon Zoo
Zoos get a lot of negative publicity, but well-kept zoos can be an excellent place for the whole family to enjoy and learn a little something at the same time. New Orleans features one of the best ranked zoos in the entire country, housing animals from around the world, including rare white tigers and alligators. If you’re interested in a more hands-on experience, the Audubon Zoo has that too, with opportunities to interact directly with many of the animals.
4. Learn about the Mardi Gras Parade at Mardi Gras World
You thought the Mardi Gras parade was just for adults, didn’t you? Unsurprisingly, tons of work goes into the parade every year, from designing costumes and floats, to baking King Cake. Kids and adults alike can tour Mardi Gras world for a chance to see floats being built from the ground up and learn a little something about the history of the parade in the process. You can even try a slice of King Cake, which isn’t very common outside of Mardi Gras season. A great way to bring a more adult tradition to kids.
5. Walk the Tightrope
If you fancy yourself an acrobat, you can take on the Audubon Zoo’s four-story ropes course attraction. Different height platforms and more than 30 elements give climbers tons of choices about which challenge to take on next. Rope ladders, cargo nets, bridges, and swinging beams lie between you and victory, but if you’re not up for the challenge, you can take your time through the course. If little ones aren’t keen on heights, children between the ages of 2 and 7 can play on a smaller version of the course all under three feet off the ground. This place really does have something for everyone.